July 28, 2004

Great Minds Think A...

Virginia Postrel has been following the Democratic Party Convention, and, as is her wont, has been looking at substance and style. She picked an interesting passage from Clinton's speech to look at in detail.

We think the role of government is to give people the tools and conditions to make the most of their lives. Republicans believe in an America run by the right people, their people, in a world in which we act unilaterally when we can, and cooperate when we have to.

Nothing in there which can't be parsed to be true, if you hold "unilateral" equal to "without the French". The first sentence, as she says, "can describe anything from a classical liberalism ... to a Swedish-style welfare state." I find it both interesting and satisfying to compare and contrast that with what I posted recently about the role of government. Making the most of one's life could indeed mean the same as benefiting from one's endeavors and thereby benefiting others. Too bad that isn't quite what Clinton meant by it.

Posted by triticale at July 28, 2004 10:46 PM
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